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Asha was playing hop-scotch with her sisters and brothers in the vast empty field behind her house in Punjab, they were a big family of 3 sisters and 2 brothers and a loving mother who used to stitch clothes for people in order to raise the five kids. Just when it was Asha’s turn to beat her elder sister, their mother called them saying their favorite newly wed uncle had come visiting them along with his bride…. She started dreaming of sweets and gifts that were always the part of uncle’s visits. They played and she instantly liked her aunt and just when the uncle and aunt were about to leave for the big city the aunt told her mother that she wants to take Asha along with her, not for a visit but to bring her up… to give her a life and education that she can’t afford her. The mother with a heavy heart packed Asha’s stuff and parceled her to Delhi without even checking with her, it was for her own good after all…

The aunt was very nice to Asha, send her to a school to take formal education at the same time taught her all the things right for a girl cooking, sewing, knitting, taking care of the house and years passed away. Aunt had her own kids and they loved Asha to bits she was their elder sister…. And than Asha was deemed to be of an age where we think its best to get rid of them… yes my dear friends Asha was ready for marriage or was declared ready for marriage…

Couple of alliances came by and she was married off to the one that her aunt and uncle seemed to be liked. From her side aunt did a good job of trying to go for the one which came through a reference, the wedding was done with the usual India fan fare and she once again had to leave the house she thought was hers and go make another house her own and live happily ever after. However God had different plans for her… Couple of months after the wedding she came to know that her husband actually had no work and it would not be tolerated if she tried to work too and just as she was thinking how to deal with it she missed her dreaded monthly period and came to know that well she is pregnant…

She decided to reason it out with her husband that he has to work, decided to reason out that he should let her work and all she got were abuses and along with abuses sometimes would follow a few slaps too… she tired to talk to her mother in law and more abuses flew her way, hasn’t her mother taught her anything? or wait your mother didn’t want you right , she sent u to your aunt. Hasn’t your aunt taught u anything? Burdened and not wanting to trouble her aunt and uncle she tolerated it till she could and than one fine day her husband dropped her back in her aunt’s house along with a toddler and another baby in the stomach.

Aunt and uncle were shocked according to them they had married her to a good guy.. what was all this now? However like any Indian parents they tried to solve the matter… Uncle gave the husband a job in his company and aunt advised Asha to be more tolerant and sent her back after all she had her own kids to take care of…

As if the problems in her life were not enough God decided to give her another blow… She fell sick really sick and was hospitalized for months all together when the aunt tried to manage the hospital, her house, her job and her kids. Asha’s mother was promptly called from the village to take care of her and she slowly recovered… Doctors told her and the family they can’t predict how long will she live, her platelets count had dipped down to 5000 (when the normal is 150,000 to 450,000) and all this while the only thing she was thinking was what will happen to her daughter if she dies… Asha decided that she had to live, she had to live for her daughter, her son and for the past 10 years that’s what she has been doing… living with a platelet count which ranges in anywhere between 5000 to a maximum of 20000… When she goes to a doctor they check her 5 times saying that no a person with such a low platelet count can’t even stand and you have come for the test yourself and she didn’t just live, she took care of the whole family, all the household work and cooking and managing the house in the small amount that she would get from her aunt and mother in law

Asha has battled against all odds to stand for her daughter, she gave her the education that she wanted to with the help of her aunt and uncle and her sisters… she got beaten herself so that she can prevent her daughter. Today Asha’s daughter is working in a company and earns a salary to make her live comfortably, Asha’s son has just finished his education and is looking for a job and the husband yeah all he does is shout why is he shirt not ironed but when he does that he knows his own children will tell him why

Asha is a women I am proud of, I may not agree with all her choices but hell she made them with whatever little she had in life and stood by them as a rock

And this is my entry for the Womens Web contest

When I got a mail from Women’s Web talking about this contest, since than its been running in my mind… who is my FemInspiration?

A lot of people came to my mind, my mum who brought up three crazy but strong daughter, my granny who was the emotional backbone of the whole family and kept them together till she was living, N’s granny who was handling the whole fields and living all by herself  in the village till about 4 years ago i.e till she was 80 or a maid who worked for me – who was married when she was 12 and is working only to raise money for her daughters education inspite of the fact that she has to often tolerate domestic abuse. If we look around us there are enough strong women around us… Women who have stood against the test of time and proven their worth, proven they can do anything… they are ordinary women like u and me…

But as I was thinking of all this I thought of an extra ordinary woman in terms of strength, in terms of sheer will power to live for her kids… she has defied medical science, she has defied all logic, she has fought with every force in her life through her silence and tolerance a path may be I won’t have chosen… The above is a true story (a little fictionalized for the sake of her life) of a woman who is very very dear to me and right now at the end of the post I have my eyes full of tears… I request you all to pray for her happiness and peace forever

And yeah Happy Womens Day to each one of you… All you Strong women out there.. u inspire me 🙂

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